Are you concerned about the appearance of metal braces? You may be able to straighten your teeth discreetly with Invisalign® clear aligners. Here, our orthodontists at SmileTown Orthodontics Braces & Invisalign share some of the factors that could influence the length of your Invisalign® treatment.
Invisalign® is a series of clear plastic aligners that straighten teeth by gradually shifting them in tiny increments over a determined time frame. In this way, they are similar to metal braces, although aligners have the added benefit of being more discreet when worn.
For adults, the average length of Invisalign® treatment is roughly a year, however, it usually takes a bit longer for teens. Although, every patient is different and there are a variety of factors that could affect the duration of your personal Invisalign® treatment.
The Complexity of Your Misalignment
If your teeth are severely misaligned, it could take longer to straighten them with clear aligners. This is the case with braces too, but with Invisalign®, the severity of your misalignment will also determine how many aligners you get with your treatment plan.
The Number of Aligners In Your Series
Invisalign® treatment includes a series of aligners. Each set of aligners needs to be changed for the next one about every 2 weeks. If you already know how many aligners you are getting in your series, you just need to do a bit of simple math to determine how long your treatment should take:
For example, if you have 16 sets of aligners.
You have to switch them out every two weeks, so that’s two sets of aligners each month.
16 divided by 2 is 8, therefore, your treatment should take 8 months.
How Compliant You Are With Your Treatment Plan
The decisions you make during your treatment could significantly impact the duration of your treatment. At the start of your treatment, your orthodontist will estimate how long it should take. To help ensure your treatment progresses according to plan (and doesn't take longer than it should), remember to wear your aligners as prescribed.
Throughout your Invisalign® treatment, you need to wear your aligners full time every day. That means approximately 22 hours of aligner wear daily.
Doing this will help ensure your treatment isn't delayed. If you leave your aligners out for too long or take them out too often, your teeth may shift back out of position, causing treatment delays and setbacks. Therefore, only remove your aligners to eat, brush, and floss, and don’t forget to put them back in when you are done!
How Long Will It Take For Me To Start Noticing Results?
In many cases, patients start seeing results from their Invisalign® treatment after roughly 4 to 6 weeks. You may find it helpful to take a picture of your smile every week, so you can get a better idea of how much your teeth are moving.